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Reviews > Rain Gear > Jackets and Pants > Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco Jacket > Test Report by Chuck Carnes

Sierra Designs
Cyclone Eco Jacket
Initial Report: September 29, 2008
Field Report: January 12, 2009
Long Term Report: March 10, 2009

Full
Picture
Courtesy of Sierra Design
 

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Name: Chuck Carnes

Age: 38
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft. 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 180 lb (79 kg)
E-mail address: ctcarnes1(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Greenville, South Carolina USA

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
I love the outdoors – I’ve spent time camping in the outdoors since I was born, and have been actively hiking and backpacking since then. I consider myself a lightweight hiker, usually carrying 20 – 30 pounds (11-13 kg) for hikes up to a week in length. I hike at an easy pace, averaging 2 mph (3 kph). I am a one-man tent camper for now. I like to carry a single trekking pole when I hike to help relieve stress to my legs and knees. I like to get out on the trail as often as I can.



PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Sierra Designs
Model: Cyclone Eco (Green Effect)
Year of manufacture: 2008
URL: http://www.sierradesigns.com
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Actual Weight: 13 oz (369 g)
Size: Large
Color: Gris
MSRP: $149.95 USD 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco Jacket is a hardshell jacket that is made with Drizone 2.5 Waterproof/Breathable material. From the web site on this material: 

"This 2.5 Layer, Drizone™ Green fabric is comprised of solvent-free laminate, textured double ripstop nylon face with a dry touch back. Fiber Content: Recycled Polyester/Textured Double Ripstop Weight: 3.01 oz/yd (86 g/m). All garments made from Drizone™ Green 2.5L fabric also feature PVC-free seam tape. 5,000 mm waterproofness, 8,000 g/m/24 hrs breathability."

The PVC-free seam taping makes this Jacket wind up in the 'green' category which is part of their 'Green Effect Program'. The jacket has pit zips with 2-way zippers for regulating the internal temperature of the jacket. This jacket also has many different pockets for organization and has a fast pack hood so it can be stuffed in its own, attached pocket inside the hood.

Other Features
YKK Aquaguard zippered chest pockets
Single-hand adjustment hem
Large internal pocket
ECO-Fully taped PVC-free seams
Conversion Chart
Adjustable Velcro cuffs with custom tab
2 zippered hand pockets



I N I T I A L    R E P O R T
September 29, 2008

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
The Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco Jacket showed up in a box with the jacket in a clear plastic bag. The jacket felt a little heavy at first but after inspecting it and feeling the material I realized that this was quality material and it felt like it would really hold up to the elements. I tried it on and it fit just fine. The sleeves are at a good length and the bottom hem is several inches (centimeters) below my waist line. The jacket feels very roomy inside and does not feel constricting at all. I have plenty of room to wrap my arms around myself and not feel the back material stretch or pull. When squatting down the rear hem of the jacket remains over the top hem of pants, this is very nice when water is shedding off of the back of the jacket and it doesn't go down into the pants.

Inside HoodConversion Chart
         Inside hood, fast pack pocket                                  Conversion chart on inside pocket

The hood is very roomy and is well seam taped as seen in the picture above. The hood felt really good on my head. The 
hood has a semi-stiff visor that extends well beyond the front off my face which makes my face feel very protected. There is a small cord on the back of the hood which controls the position of it's sides, extending my peripheral vision when used. The pulled cord is held in place by a small, sliding, rubber mechanism. At the base of the hood opening, there are two pull cords, one on each side of the neck line, to be pulled to cinch the opening of the hood around the face. The cinched cord is held tight by small, sliding, rubber mechanisms that can be operated by one hand.

The zippers on the outside pockets are protected by a storm flap and are provided with zipper pulls for easy access. The chest pocket is mesh pocket that is held closed by a waterproof zipper, no storm flap. The full length pit zips are protected by a storm flap and can zip either way. All of the zippers were easy to use and they worked smooth and snag free. The inner mesh pocket has a conversion chart sewn to the outside mesh material as seen in the picture above. The conversion chart converts temperature, length, distance, weight, and volume from standard to metric. This would come in very handy if the user is doing some world traveling and needed conversions fairly quickly.

I am actually looking forward to getting out in the rain with the Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco jacket. The material and construction seem like very good quality. The feel of the material when wearing the jacket seems very breathable but still has the waterproof feel. And by that I mean the Drizone material feels very prominent against my skin but not clammy.

F I E L D    R E P O R T
January 12, 2009

The Cyclone Jacket has been a great addition to my rain gear. It has kept me warm and/or dry on many occasions. I've mostly used it as an everyday rain jacket but on several occasions I've used it out in the field. Two instances were one, at Paris Mountain on a day hike and two, on a backpacking trip in Shinning Rock. The Paris Mountain hiking trip was a 3.8 mile (6.1 km) loop at elevations ranging from 1,200 ft (366 m) to 1,500 ft (457 m). The weather was very cloudy and the temperatures stayed at around 70 F (2 C). I took the Cyclone jacket and pants with me on this trip. I was able to use the complete outfit during one quick but heavy rain storm during our hike. The storm lasted for about 15 minutes but it was a down pour. I would say at least .25 in (.64 cm) of rain fell in the 15 minute time period. 

The rain came very fast and very heavy. I had the jacket and the pants in my day pack that I had (the pants are reviewed in another report). The jacket compressed very well in the front pocket of my pack. The jacket was very easy to get to and retrieve from my day pack. After about 10 minutes of walking I started to sweat underneath the jacket just a bit. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and a synthetic long sleeve over the short sleeve. I immediately opened both pit zips. This helped some but by the time I started to feel relief the rain stopped. My back was wet with sweat a little bit from the pack being so close to my back. Other than a little bit of sweating I was completely dry during the rain storm. I shook off the jacket and placed it back in my pack. I have not used the fast pack hood yet, as it is easier for my to just stuff it in a pack pocket. The jacket felt very comfortable with except of a little over heating. I really like the way the bottom hem area fits close to my body. The hood fit great and performed wonderfully. I was able to turn my head while walking and the hood turned as well and never blocked my peripheral vision.

The second time in the field was to Shinning Rock Wilderness area. It was a two night trip where the elevation was around 5,000 ft (1,524 km) and the temperatures ranged from 30's F (1's C) at night to 60 F to 70 F (33 C to 38 C) during the day. The jacket came in real handy as a windbreaker to keep out the wind and keep my body warmth in. I didn't experience any rain during the trip but I did find the jacket very useful as a windbreaker. The Cyclone jacket kept me from having to carry a heavier, warmer jacket. I was able to layer up and wear the jacket and it was as good as having on a heavier jacket without the weight. 

Around the house and at work the jacket has saved me from getting wet during those aggravating rainy days. Since I have been using the jacket as my rain protection from in and out of the weather, I have come to realize that I like it better than an umbrella. The jacket has been very easy for me to put on and take off as soon as I am out of the weather. The umbrella, however, is very bulky and will sometimes get me wetter as I am trying to close it in the car. I don’t have to worry about the umbrella flipping inside out and getting me wet as if I had no protection at all. Before I get in the rain, I make sure the flap of the jacket that covers the front zipper is completely closed and sealed by running my hand down the flap to mend the Velcro together. I then pull the hood over my head and make a run for it. 

One of the best things I like about the jacket is the heaviness of the hood. Most hoods on light weight rain jackets are so light that even the tiniest bit of wind or breeze blows the hood right off. The Cyclone's hood seems weighted enough that I don't have to cinch it just to go a short distance in the rain. For me this is very nice. I can put the hood on and not worry about a little wind blowing it off. The jacket has protected me from getting wet in light and heavy rain. It dries quickly after giving it a few shakes to knock off the remaining rain water. 

Overall I am very happy with the Sierra Designs Cyclone jacket. It has been a great rain jacket and a windbreaker. The seams that are sealed have kept the water from entering into the jacket along with the storm flaps over the zippers. The pit zips gave great ventilation when needed and I was able to get that ventilation with out exposing myself to the rain and getting wet. I never had to adjust the wrist cuffs because I like them a little loose and not tight around my wrist. The hem draw cord can be cinched from inside the hand pockets. I never adjusted the hem since it already fits snug to my waist area. I look forward to more rainy days this next testing phase.

L O N G   T E R M    R E P O R T
March 10, 2009

Since my Field Report, I used the Cyclone Jacket once in a down pour rain storm. I was out on a day hike about 2 miles (3 km) from my car and the bottom dropped out of the clouds with a lot of rain. I was at Paris Mountain where the elevation ranged between 1,000 ft. to 1,500 ft. (305 m to 457 m). The temperature was actually pretty warm at 78 F (25 C) which is why I took the trip.

I immediately pulled my Cyclone Jacket and Pants from my pack and put them on. I got everything on before it really started coming down. Having everything zipped and cinched up tight I continued down the trail at a fast pace to get to my car. Being in this much of a hurry I didn't pay a lot of attention to details as far as how the jacket performed. After arriving at the car and getting in, I removed the jacket and pants and was completely dry. Even my head was dry and not wet from sweat or rain. That is all I ask for in a rain jacket and pant; to be dry when I remove it. The Cyclone jacket performed beautifully when I needed it.

I have also worn the jacket around town, to work and around the house when bad weather was expected. I just can't say enough good things about this jacket. It seems bomb proof and very protective in harsh elements. My favorite thing about the jacket is the hood. I really like the weight of it and how it stays on my head even if I don't cinch it tight. This jacket will definitely be my all time, all weather rain jacket.   

This concludes this test series
Thank you Sierra Designs and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity.



Read more reviews of Sierra Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Chuck Carnes

Reviews > Rain Gear > Jackets and Pants > Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco Jacket > Test Report by Chuck Carnes



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